Ameresco, Inc. today announced that it will develop a 27 megawatt (MW) solar farm in the Village of DePue, Illinois. Upon completion, the DePue solar farm will directly advance the state's goal of reaching 25 percent renewable energy by 2025.
Ameresco will be the developer, builder and owner of the DePue solar farm, which will consist of more than 71,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on ballast blocks entirely above ground. It is estimated to produce 37,000 megawatt hours of green, emission-free energy in its first year of operation.
"The Village of DePue is very happy to be the home of the Ameresco Solar project and is looking forward to working with them to make it a reality," said Eric Bryant, Village President.
Construction of the DePue solar farm is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2020 and reach completion later that year. The Village will collect permitting fees during the site's development process, as well as approximately $10,000 annually upon its completion. Those funds will help offset the Village's energy costs. In addition, the County will collect increased property tax revenue from the project completion.
"Solar is a powerful renewable energy resource for a community like DePue as well as Bureau County, both of which stand to benefit economically while this development also closely aligns with the environmental objectives of the state of Illinois," said Louis P. Maltezos, Executive Vice President of Ameresco. "Ameresco has had tremendous success in the beneficial repurposing of existing land and we are looking forward to working closely with the Village to bring renewable energy to their local community."
"The development of clean, renewable energy on a brownfield site is not only beneficial to the Village of DePue but also the state of Illinois and our renewable energy goals," said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim. "This project exemplifies the prospects of economic development on brownfield properties and the solar farm will provide a positive economic benefit to the Village, community and County for years to come."
DePue's solar farm is projected to offset 25,947 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to taking 5,509 passenger vehicles off the road for one year or powering 4,525 homes for a year. As the solar facility's owner and operator, Ameresco will remain in the community following project completion to continue providing maintenance and support services for the life of the facility.